Pakistan's Supreme Court today rejected a petition seeking the disqualification of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan in a foreign funding case, but ruled against his close aide.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court today rejected a petition seeking the disqualification of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan in a foreign funding case, but ruled against his close aide. Khan, 65, the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party was facing allegations of hiding his assets, owning offshore company and running the party with the help of foreign funding. The court disqualified for life Khan’s close aide and PTI Secretary General Jahangir Khan Tareen in the same case. The case was launched last year at the request by Hanif Abbasi, a leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, against Khan and Tareen. The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, held around 50 hearings, while the case continued for more than a year. Over 7,000 documents were presented in the court by the petitioner and the accused. In the short judgement, Nisar said that all allegations against Khan have been rejected, including foreign funding allegation for his property and alleged wrongdoing in purchase Khan’s estate of Bani Gala near Islamabad. But Tareen was held responsible for fraud and disqualified for life. “We will file a review petition against disqualification of Tareen,” PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry told reporters. The court had completed hearing and reserved the judgement on November 14. Both Khan and Tareen had rejected the charges and also announced to accept the court verdict.
Elaborate security arrangements were made for today’s hearing. It was the second major case involving the leader of a leading political party. Earlier, the Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif for corruption, leading to his ouster. Khan retired from cricket in 1992. In 1996, Khan founded a political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).